Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi

Orbassano, Italy

Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi

Orbassano, Italy

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Grassi D.,Instituto Cajal | Grassi D.,University of Turin | Bellini M.J.,Instituto Cajal | Acaz-Fonseca E.,Instituto Cajal | And 3 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2013

The expression of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is regulated by estradiol and testosterone (T) in different neuronal populations by mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Estrogen receptors (ERs) have been shown to participate in the regulation of AVP neurons by estradiol. In addition, there is evidence of the participation of ERβ in the regulation of AVP expression exerted by T via its metabolite 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) and its further conversion in the androgen metabolite and ERβ ligand 3β-diol. In this study we have explored the role of ERs in the regulation exerted by estradiol and T on AVP expression, using the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Estradiol treatment increased AVP mRNA levels in SH-SY5Y cells in comparison with cells treated with vehicle. The stimulatory effect of estradiol on AVP expression was imitated by the ERα agonist 4,4′,4′,-(4-propyl- [1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol and blocked by the ER antagonist, ICI 182,780, and the ERα antagonist 1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2- piperidinylethoxy)phenol]-1hpyrazoledihydrochloride. In contrast, the ERβ agonist 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile reduced AVP expression, whereas the ERβ antagonist 4-[2-phenyl-5,7-bis(trifluoromethyl) pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl]phenol enhanced the action of estradiol on AVP expression. T increased AVP expression in SH-SY5Y cells by a mechanism that was dependent on aromatase but not on 5α-reductase activity. The T effect was not affected by blocking the androgen receptor, was not imitated by the T metabolite 5α-DHT, and was blocked by the ERα antagonist 1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2-piperidinylethoxy)phenol] -1hpyrazoledihydrochloride. In contrast, 5α-DHT had a similar effect as the ERβ agonists 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile and 3β-diol, reducing AVP expression. These findings suggest that estradiol and T regulate AVP expression in SH-SY5Y cells through ERs, exerting a stimulatory action via ERα and an inhibitory action via ERβ. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.


Moimas S.,International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology | Moimas S.,University of Trieste | Novati F.,University of Trieste | Ronchi G.,University of Turin | And 14 more authors.
Gene Therapy | Year: 2013

Functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury depends on both improvement of nerve regeneration and prevention of denervation-related skeletal muscle atrophy. To reach these goals, in this study we overexpressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by means of local gene transfer with adeno-associated virus (AAV). Local gene transfer in the regenerating peripheral nerve was obtained by reconstructing a 1-cm-long rat median nerve defect using a vein segment filled with skeletal muscle fibers that have been previously injected with either AAV2-VEGF or AAV2-LacZ, and the morphofunctional outcome of nerve regeneration was assessed 3 months after surgery. Surprisingly, results showed that overexpression of VEGF in the muscle-vein-combined guide led to a worse nerve regeneration in comparison with AAV-LacZ controls. Local gene transfer in the denervated muscle was obtained by direct injection of either AAV2-VEGF or AAV2-LacZ in the flexor digitorum sublimis muscle after median nerve transection and results showed a significantly lower progression of muscle atrophy in AAV2-VEGF-treated muscles in comparison with muscles treated with AAV2-LacZ. Altogether, our results suggest that local delivery of VEGF by AAV2-VEGF-injected transplanted muscle fibers do not represent a rational approach to promote axonal regeneration along a venous nerve guide. By contrast, AAV2-VEGF direct local injection in denervated skeletal muscle significantly attenuates denervation-related atrophy, thus representing a promising strategy for improving the outcome of post-traumatic neuromuscular recovery after nerve injury and repair. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


PubMed | Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, University of Pavia, Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2017

Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are a key population in the basal ganglia network, and their degeneration causes a severe neurodegenerative disorder, Huntingtons disease. Understanding how ventral neuroepithelial progenitors differentiate into MSNs is critical for regenerative medicine to develop specific differentiation protocols using human pluripotent stem cells. Studies performed in murine models have identified some transcriptional determinants, including GS Homeobox 2 (Gsx2) and Early B-cell factor 1 (Ebf1). Here, we have generated human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines inducible for these transcription factors, with the aims of (i) studying their biological role in human neural progenitors and (ii) incorporating TF conditional expression in a developmental-based protocol for generating MSNs from hES cells. Using this approach, we found that Gsx2 delays cell-cycle exit and reduces Pax6 expression, whereas Ebf1 promotes neuronal differentiation. Moreover, we found that Gsx2 and Ebf1 combined overexpression in hES cells achieves high yields of MSNs, expressing Darpp32 and Ctip2, in vitro as well in vivo after transplantation. We show that hES-derived striatal progenitors can be transplanted in animal models and can differentiate and integrate into the host, extending fibers over a long distance.


Parmigiani E.,University of Turin | Parmigiani E.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi | Leto K.,University of Turin | Leto K.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Cerebellar GABAergic interneurons in mouse comprise multiple subsets of morphologically and neurochemically distinct phenotypes located at strategic nodes of cerebellar local circuits. These cells are produced by common progenitors deriving from the ventricular epithelium during embryogenesis and from the prospective white matter (PWM) during postnatal development. However, it is not clear whether these progenitors are also shared by other cerebellar lineages and whether germinative sites different from the PWM originate inhibitory interneurons. Indeed, the postnatal cerebellum hosts another germinal site along the Purkinje cell layer (PCL), in which Bergmann glia are generated up to first the postnatal weeks, which was proposed to be neurogenic. Both PCL and PWM comprise precursors displaying traits of juvenile astroglia and neural stem cell markers. First, we examine the proliferative and fate potential of these niches, showing that different proliferative dynamics regulate progenitor amplification at these sites. In addition, PCL and PWM differ in the generated progeny. GABAergic interneurons are produced exclusively by PWM astroglial-like progenitors, whereas PCL precursors produce only astrocytes. Finally, through in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo clonal analyses we provide evidence that the postnatal PWM hosts a bipotent progenitor that gives rise to both interneurons and white matter astrocytes. © 2015 the authors.


Boido M.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi | Garbossa D.,University of Turin | Fontanella M.,University of Turin | Ducati A.,University of Turin | Vercelli A.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi
World Neurosurgery | Year: 2014

Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that have a supportive role in regenerative therapies, especially in the central nervous system, where spontaneous regeneration is limited. MSCs can exert a paracrine activity and modulate the inflammatory response after a central nervous system injury. Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to permanent neurologic deficits below the injury site, owing to neuronal and axonal damage. Among experimental treatments after SCI, cell transplantation has emerged as a promising approach. Methods: Using a compression injury model in the mouse spinal cord, MSCs were acutely transplanted into the lesion cavity; injured mice without the graft served as controls. After 26 days, the survival of MSCs was investigated, and their effect on the formation of glial cyst and on injury-related inflammation was evaluated. Results: Grafted MSCs remained permanently undifferentiated. The lesion volume was reduced by 31.6% compared with control mice despite the fact that astroglial and microglial activation was not altered by the graft. Sensory and motor tests showed that MSC cell therapy results in improvement on a battery of behavioral tests compared with control mice: MSC-treated mice versus control mice scored 0.00 versus 0.50 in the posture test, 0.00 versus 1.50 in the hindlimb flexion test, 3.00 versus 2.25 in the sensory test, and 7.50 mistakes versus 15.83 mistakes in the foot-fault test. Conclusions: These results underscore the therapeutic potential of MSCs, making them promising treatments for central nervous system pathologies. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Gunetti M.,Regina Margherita Childrens Hospital | Tomasi S.,University of Turin | Tomasi S.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi | Giammo A.,CTO Maria Adelaide Hospital | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Urinary incontinence, defined as the complaint of any involuntary loss of urine, is a pathological condition, which affects 30% females and 15% males over 60, often following a progressive decrease of rhabdosphincter cells due to increasing age or secondary to damage to the pelvic floor musculature, connective tissue and/or nerves. Recently, stem cell therapy has been proposed as a source for cell replacement and for trophic support to the sphincter. To develop new therapeutic strategies for urinary incontinence, we studied the interaction between mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and muscle cells in vitro; thereafter, aiming at a clinical usage, we analyzed the supporting role of MSCs for muscle cells in vitro and in in vivo xenotransplantation. MSCs can express markers of the myogenic cell lineages and give rise, under specific cell culture conditions, to myotube-like structures. Nevertheless, we failed to obtain mixed myotubes both in vitro and in vivo. For in vivo transplantation, we tested a new protocol to collect human MSCs from whole bone marrow, to get larger numbers of cells. MSCs, when transplanted into the pelvic muscles close to the external urethral sphincter, survived for a long time in absence of immunosuppression, and migrated into the muscle among fibers, and towards neuromuscular endplates. Moreover, they showed low levels of cycling cells, and did not infiltrate blood vessels. We never observed formation of cell masses suggestive of tumorigenesis. Those which remained close to the injection site showed an immature phenotype, whereas those in the muscle had more elongated morphologies. Therefore, MSCs are safe and can be easily transplanted without risk of side effects in the pelvic muscles. Further studies are needed to elucidate their integration into muscle fibers, and to promote their muscular transdifferentiation either before or after transplantation. © 2012 Gunetti et al.


PubMed | University of Turin, University of Houston, Northwestern University, Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi and University of Texas Medical Branch
Type: | Journal: Translational psychiatry | Year: 2016

Cognitive processing is highly dependent on the functional integrity of gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) interneurons in the brain. These cells regulate excitability and synaptic plasticity of principal neurons balancing the excitatory/inhibitory tone of cortical networks. Reduced function of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons and disruption of GABAergic synapses in the cortical circuitry result in desynchronized network activity associated with cognitive impairment across many psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. However, the mechanisms underlying these complex phenotypes are still poorly understood. Here we show that in animal models, genetic deletion of fibroblast growth factor 14 (Fgf14), a regulator of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission, leads to loss of PV interneurons in the CA1 hippocampal region, a critical area for cognitive function. Strikingly, this cellular phenotype associates with decreased expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) and vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) and also coincides with disrupted CA1 inhibitory circuitry, reduced in vivo gamma frequency oscillations and impaired working memory. Bioinformatics analysis of schizophrenia transcriptomics revealed functional co-clustering of FGF14 and genes enriched within the GABAergic pathway along with correlatively decreased expression of FGF14, PVALB, GAD67 and VGAT in the disease context. These results indicate that Fgf14(-/-) mice recapitulate salient molecular, cellular, functional and behavioral features associated with human cognitive impairment, and FGF14 loss of function might be associated with the biology of complex brain disorders such as schizophrenia.


PubMed | University of Turin and Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi
Type: Journal Article | Journal: World neurosurgery | Year: 2014

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that have a supportive role in regenerative therapies, especially in the central nervous system, where spontaneous regeneration is limited. MSCs can exert a paracrine activity and modulate the inflammatory response after a central nervous system injury. Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to permanent neurologic deficits below the injury site, owing to neuronal and axonal damage. Among experimental treatments after SCI, cell transplantation has emerged as a promising approach.Using a compression injury model in the mouse spinal cord, MSCs were acutely transplanted into the lesion cavity; injured mice without the graft served as controls. After 26 days, the survival of MSCs was investigated, and their effect on the formation of glial cyst and on injury-related inflammation was evaluated.Grafted MSCs remained permanently undifferentiated. The lesion volume was reduced by 31.6% compared with control mice despite the fact that astroglial and microglial activation was not altered by the graft. Sensory and motor tests showed that MSC cell therapy results in improvement on a battery of behavioral tests compared with control mice: MSC-treated mice versus control mice scored 0.00 versus 0.50 in the posture test, 0.00 versus 1.50 in the hindlimb flexion test, 3.00 versus 2.25 in the sensory test, and 7.50 mistakes versus 15.83 mistakes in the foot-fault test.These results underscore the therapeutic potential of MSCs, making them promising treatments for central nervous system pathologies.


Fontana R.,University of Milan | Fontana R.,Italian Institute of Technology | Della Torre S.,University of Milan | Meda C.,University of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2014

Estrogens play an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis in female mammals and a reduced ovarian function,dueto natural aging or surgery, is associated withbodyweight increase and fat redistribution. This disruption of energy homeostasis may constitute a trigger for several pathologiesknownto be associated with climacterium; however, so far, limited attention has been devoted to the ability of estrogen replacement therapies (ERT) to reinstate the balanced energy metabolism characteristic of cycling female mammals. The purpose of the present study was to compare the efficacy of selected ERTs in reversing the ovariectomy-induced gain in body weight. To this aim female ERE-Luc mice were ovariectomized and, after 3 weeks, treated per os for 21 days with: conjugated estrogens, two selective estrogen receptor modulators (bazedoxifene and raloxifene), and the combination of bazedoxifene plus conjugated estrogens (tissue-selective estrogen complex, TSEC). The study shows that the therapy based on TSEC was the most efficacious in reducing the body weight accrued by ovariectomy (OVX). In addition, by means of in vivo imaging, the TSEC treatment wasshownto increase estrogen receptor (ER) transcriptional activity selectively in the arcuate nucleus, which is a key area for the control of energy homeostasis. Finally, quantitative analysis of the mRNAs encoding orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides indicated that following ERT with TSEC there was a significant change in Agrp, NPY, and Kiss-1 mRNA accumulation in the whole hypothalamus. Considering that prior studies showed that ERT with TSEC was able to mimic the rhythm of ER oscillatory activity during the reproductive cycle and that such fluctuations were relevant for energy metabolism, the present observations further point to the ER tetradian oscillation as an important component of the ER signaling necessary for the full hormone action and therefore for an efficacious ERT. Copyright © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.


PubMed | Maggiore della Carita University Hospital, Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi, b IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza and University of Piemonte Orientale
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Expert opinion on biological therapy | Year: 2016

Despite knowledge on the molecular basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) having quickly progressed over the last few years, such discoveries have not yet translated into new therapeutics. With the advancement of stem cell technologies there is hope for stem cell therapeutics as novel treatments for ALS.We discuss in detail the therapeutic potential of different types of stem cells in preclinical and clinical works. Moreover, we address many open questions in clinical translation.SC therapy is a potentially promising new treatment for ALS and the need to better understand how to develop cell-based experimental treatments, and how to implement them in clinical trials, becomes more pressing. Mesenchymal stem cells and neural fetal stem cells have emerged as safe and potentially effective cell types, but there is a need to carry out appropriately designed experimental studies to verify their long-term safety and possibly efficacy. Moreover, the cost-benefit analysis of the results must take into account the quality of life of the patients as a major end point. It is our opinion that a multicenter international clinical program aime d at fine-tuning and coordinating transplantation procedures and protocols is mandatory.

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